Peter Dawson (pictured), group chairman of Dawsongroup, is to step back from the business.

Now 82, Dawson has been running the company for 60 years but said the time was right for the baton of ownership to be passed to the third generation of the family.

A 'Family Council' has been established, consisting of Peter and his three children - Rouven, Freya and Charles - to maintain their close involvement in the business.

Peter will remain as group chairman but will focus on guiding the Family Council, helping it develop its relationship with the main board, which runs Dawsongroup on the family's behalf.

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Freya will retain her existing roles as group property director and main board member while Charles will remain international development director.

Dawsongroup was launched in 1935 when Peter’s father, Ted Dawson, established a haulage business in Leighton Buzzard with just one vehicle: a five-tonne Studebaker.

“Dawsongroup has an extremely bright and exciting future ahead, and I see this transition as an integral part of the company’s natural evolution," Peter Dawson said.

In a note of thanks to staff, he said: “Your efforts and dedication over the years have not gone unnoticed, and we have continued to succeed and grow despite an ever-changing social and economic climate – none more so than during the pandemic – and I remain extremely proud of that success and grateful to you all for your help in achieving it.”

He also acknowledged the start that his father gave him, saying: “I do not believe, even in his wildest dreams, he could have predicted the success story Dawsongroup has become today, but I know he would have been as proud as I am of its achievements.”